THE DIVINE COMEDYINFERNO Zack LeBlanc English 230 MWF 9:00-9:50 CANTO I
CANTO I • This is the beginning of the Divine Comedy where we discover the main character, who is Dante. He has gotten lost in a dark forest. In this forest, Dante stands before a leopard, a lion, and a she-wolf. These three animals represent the three major sins that are found in Hell. The leopard represents fraud, the lion represents violence, and the she-wolf represents incontinence, or immoderation, which is the least serious of the three sins, but is the most difficult to overcome psychologically. As he is breaking from the long journey, he notices a way out of the forest that is given off by light over the next hill. He comes over the hill and this is where he meets the soul of the poet Virgil. Virgil advises that Dante follow him into Hell so that he may hear the cries of desperation and view the ancient spirits in their agonizing pain.
CANTO I Characters • Dante (b. AD1265) - the main character of the DIVINE COMEDY. Dante is 35 years old at the time this is written. He is a Florentine who has been exiled from the city of his home called Florence. Advised that if he comes back, that he’d be executed. He is the only living being in this story. • Virgil- Virgil was a poet. He was the author of The Aeneid, who is now deceased. He is going to be Dante’s guide through Hell.
Images of CANTO I Dante Dark Forest Virgil Lion She-Wolf Leopard
Where is Dante in CANTO I • At the beginning of this work, Dante is lost inside a dark forest. Near to the end of the path in the forest, there is a light. He follows that light to the end. That light is the Entrance of Hell. Here in the forest, there are no sinners, however, there are three animals that represent three very bad sins. A leopard for fraud, a lion for violence, and a she-wolf for immoderation.
The Forest of CANTO I • The forest as Dante describes it… Shadowed, for he lost the path that does not stray. It was a savage forest, difficult and dense, where death is severe.
CANTO I The Divine Comedy was written in 1300. Dante was born in 1265 as he would be 35 years old. The biblical lifespan of a person was 70. In the first line of the work, Dante writes, “When I had journeyed half of our life’s way… (Canto I, Line 1)”